“Il Diotto” is a celebration which recalls the annual
event (September 8) of the antique investiture ceremony for
a character who administered the rapport between Firenze and Castel di
San Barnaba, called Scarperia on account of the Fiorentina Republic.
Scarperia, which was founded by the Fiorentina Republic on September
7, 1306, and to which it has always remained true, every year recalls that which was reality long ago, when every year on September 8 the new
Vicar, sent from Firenze, succeeded the old, who gave a feast in honour
of the new arrival.
An antique feast day broken off for the period of the great war
and taken up again in the 60s “Il Diotto” starts with the
historic procession of Scarperia together with the historic procession
of Firenze crossing
centre, to arrive in Piazza de’ Vicari, where in front of the magnificent
Palazzo the celebration for the incoming Vicar begins.
Roll of drums and trumpet blasts accompany the great spectacle
of the Castel San Barnaba and Uffizi flagwavers, after which the
Master of the Games
finally starts the five races on the programme, which consist
Throwing, Race on Bricks, Tug of War, Barrel race and
the Greasy Pole, at the end of these games the incoming Vicar will present
prize to the team which has won the most points.
The teams participating in the games are sustained by fervent
armed with fire crackers and coloured smoke bombs.
The games, of rustic origin, are the genuine expression of the strong Scarperia
people, who in their artisan jobs and in the fields have always distinguished
themselves with their talents. Il Diotto is not only a one day celebration,
but each year the preceding and subsequent day of the actual date are assigned
to cultural, musical and folklore appointments which turn Sparperia into
a first class tourist attraction.
For some time the Sunday preceding Il Diotto, has been dedicated to “Renaissance
Day”, which takes the town’s historic centre back to the 400s. On this date in September, every year the historic centre of Scarperia
is closed to traffic, and the citizens, mostly dressed in renaissance
give life to scenes of outdoor life.
In the ancient alleyways, covered with earth and straw, you can find entire
families intent on reproducing that which was the true life in the Renaissance
era. You can find musicians, artists, jugglers, blacksmiths, embroiderers,
monks, clowns, animal sellers, guards, ladies, cavaliers, and the never
lacking (we are in Scarperia) knife throwers.
In this contest of historic recollection, it is possible to eat food
prepared with ancient recipes, paying with the local coins, the “Scarperiese
florin”, which for the anniversary is reproduced and exchanged for
Euro by the “treasurers” in costume.
Those who have the opportunity to visit Scarperia during these days will
find it amusing to take part in the Renaissance Sunday. Here the children
enjoy themselves entering the spellbound town, where they can feel like
actors and spectators in a modern fairytale, where the past and the present
are mixed up; and it is a truly unique occasion for the parents to assist
in the magic in all its wonder before a scene of the past never before